Monday, May 4, 2015

The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide To Romance Review

Real Life Press Review
Alright homeschool Mama's, this is for you. I recently received the awesome chance to review the Real Life Press book, The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to... Romance. So listen up girls. This is a book you need to get. Not just because I liked it but because you need to hear what it says. 

Heidi St. John is the author and she has been married to her hubby Jay since 1989. They have homeschooled all of their children through high school. And guess what?  She gets it. Really she does. 
Real Life Press Review
When you homeschool you get the amazing opportunity to nurture your children and that relationship. You get to help them grow and learn in an environment that is built just for them. While all this is going on, there's one relationship that can take a hit if you're not careful. That's where Heidi's book comes in.
Learning to nurture your marriage and keep it strong is critical to surviving this homeschooling journey you're on. This amazing book helps you find ways to do that. 
What's this all about?
Heidi goes in depth on how to nurture your relationship with your husband while you're homeschooling, caring for the home, cooking, cleaning... And anything else that might come up. She discusses topics such as:
  • Social media and how it changes relationships
  • Finding "That Girl" again ( you know.. the one your hubby married?)
  • Dealing with outside commitments
  • Strengthening communication
  • Hope for those dealing with a broken heart
  • And so much more! 
This book breaks it down and makes it easy to understand. It gives you Biblical advice on making sure your relationship with the one God gave you stays sound and strong. 

My thoughts...
Honestly? I loved this book. I felt like I was reading about myself and it was great to know there's someone out there who gets it. Of course I know that a lot of us may be in this situation but for someone else to put it in words that they understand the struggle. 

My husband and I have an amazing relationship. I'm very grateful for the spouse God gave me. There are times that it feels like we are roommates though, just like Heidi mentions. When you're homeschooling, working, being a part of the church ministries, keeping up the house, visiting friends... It can seem like you're just two people living together instead of the one flesh that God made you to be. 

I really enjoyed reading how to find "That Girl" I was when my husband chose me to marry. Heidi gives tips on communicating and making sure you are a three cord strand and not running "parallel lives". 

To me the marriage is a very critical part of raising your children. Showing them what a loving, strong marriage is will leave them a legacy. It helps them to see what marriage truly is. Communicating with each other. Loving on each other. Taking care of each other when times are tough. Leaning on each other. I had a great model myself as my parents have been married going on 38 years next year. 

In my opinion we all face struggles with family. It's part of raising a family. There are different struggles homeschool families face. It can be difficult to find that alone time with your spouse. It's also important that you make time. 
Here's just a sample of what stuck out to me... 
Making Your Bedroom a Retreat...
What does your bedroom look like? Heidi asks this question and I honestly didn't like my answer. I want it to be our retreat from the world outside of us. I want it to be a place of romance and comfort. A place we feel like we can relax and be refreshed. So I am making it a goal of mine to turn our space into that. I want to add decorations, candles and get rid of the clutter of the world outside. I never really thought much about it until I read her questions.
If you're struggling like so many of us do, this is a great book to get to encourage you and let you know you're not alone.  I received the physical copy but you can also grab it in a digital copy as well. 
I highly recommend this for you to grab up and put on your reading list. It will speak to your heart. It will encourage you. It will uplift you and it will get you thinking on your marriage. 
What do you do to nurture your marriage through homeschooling? 
Check out the link below to see more awesome reviews and products from Real Life Press. 

You can also follow Heidi and Real Life Press on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Real Life Press Review

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, May 1, 2015

Adaptive Placement Test - A+ Interactive Math Review

A+ Interactive Math Review
Math is a subject that can be taught in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, since there are so many different ways to teach it, gaps can happen. In steps the opportunity to review the A+ Interactive Math Tutorsoft program, Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan. I received a three month subscription to work with for this review. 


A+ Interactive Math Review
This multisensory program offers a way to pinpoint the gaps your child may have in their grade level math program and fill those gaps in. This program works great for homeschool students, private school or those who need a little help in filling in those learning gaps. 

How the program works...
When you begin the program you'll set your child up with the grade they are in or that you would like to locate the learning gaps. I chose third grade as this is the grade we are currently working on. I probably could have chosen 2nd grade to verify those but for the review, we worked with 3rd grade. 

Once I set up Boo Bear's account, he signed in with his own login and went to work. 

This is the screen once you login that your child will see. 


Your child can choose to take their placement test, view reports or view and work on their lesson plans. 

First thing your child needs to do is to take an adaptive placement test. This will test them in a variety of areas in the grade level they are in. For example, topics may include addition, subtraction, time and money. Here's what the assessment page will look like. This is after Boo Bear took some of the exams. 


You can see on this page it will list the concepts that they should know for their grade. Your child can take the test and it will show how many times they have attempted it and if they passed at grade level. Since we were reviewing this I chose a variety of topics to see where he was at. We worked on Time, Money, Addition, and number sense. The Geometry we are still working on. 

Once he completed a test if he was not at grade level, the program sets up lesson plans on the topics he was struggling with. This allows him to only work on topics that he missed and he doesn't have to complete the whole entire lesson. 

Once the lesson plans are complete there are also worksheets to help your student learn the topics and get more practice. Your child then goes and takes the test again to see how they are doing. 

In most cases for Boo Bear, once he would do the lessons he would pass the test the next time. 

What I like about it...
I love being able to pinpoint the gaps we have missed. We have used similar curriculums but have still used different ones over the past years. It helps to learn those gaps and see where we need more work. Since we have not completed third grade yet, we have some more work to do. It will be nice to see what he has done when the lessons for our curriculum are over. 

Another benefit I love is it is automatically graded. It records the grade and I can review what he missed on the test. It allows me to go through each test question and see what he answered and where he went wrong with it. 

I enjoy being able to see the reports as well. Reports like this one show you where they are at and what the goal for their grade is. It's a help for them to see how much farther they need to go to have this topic covered. 


This program works well with any grade is very affordable to add to your homeschool math curriculum. If your kids like working online you want to consider this as well. My son said it was really "cool". 

I would recommend this program to any homeschool families that are needing to close learning gaps or just want to make sure your child is on grade level for their math programs. I think this would be a great end of the year review program to have on record or just to go along throughout the year to see what areas your child needs to work on. 

Be sure to check out the other reviews and programs offered by clicking the link below. 

A+ Interactive Math Review

Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thankful Thursday With Linkup

290. I'm thankful for good friends. Those that you know God placed in your life.

291. I'm thankful for a job that I can work around my family and life. When things happen I can be there for others and that is a tremendous blessing to me.

292. An amazing church family that comes together and sincerely surrounds you with prayer.

293. Being a part of an amazing review group that is a tremendous blessing to our homeschool journey.

294. The homeschool opportunity we have.

295. Learning and trusting that this is my year to be still. Learning how to say no and to not overextend myself. That is a lesson I've needed for a long time.

296. The laughter at the table during dinner.

297. That quickening of the spirit when you know that you know what you need to do.

298. Reading with my kiddo before bed each night.

299. My sweet Golden. She can make you feel better after a rough day with just a wag of the tail and a chin on your knee. Letting you know she's there for you too

300. The peace that comes from knowing that God is with you through all things

301. Slow days at home

302. Field trips with homeschool friends

303. New adventures coming up

304. My current bible study

305. Making new connections

306. Hearing others share their struggles and victories in their walk with Christ

307. An amazing pastor and his family that love with all they have

308. Seeing my hubby get more and more involved with church.Seeing him coming out of his shell is amazing

309. My dad's back surgery going well and that he's continuing to improve

310. Answered prayers

I'm starting something new this week. I'll have this as a link up for your to share your blessings and gifts each week. You can count up to 1000 with me or just share something that you have been truly thankful for this past week. It's up to you on how you share. I ask that the posts be family friendly. Remember that counting those blessings can turn your day all around.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Revelation: Working on Relationships

These past few Sundays our pastor has been preaching on "Give me a Revelation". Hearing from God in a mighty way. Yesterday our praise team sang the Third Day Song, "Revelation". You know the one...

Well yesterday as I was driving home from the store by myself, I had an aha moment. I had a revelation if you will about relationships. Specifically our relationship with Christ.



See I was thinking about a couple things. I was thinking about my son and his friendships. I was thinking about how friendships we have come and go. I was also thinking about my BFF's in school when I was a teen.

I got to thinking about how we nurture our friendships and relationships with family. We talk weekly and sometimes every day of the week. We communicate on a regular basis and that helps us keep that relationship strong.

The lack of communication is also what can make our relationships fade out. Make them weak over time. We don't know as much about each other or go separate ways. We lose touch and lose some of the strength of bond we once had.

Sure, you're still friends but sometimes it becomes more of an acquaintance relationship. You know the ones. The ones you might speak every couple of months or even years. The ones where time doesn't get rid of memories but the relationship just isn't as strong as before.

So what about our relationship with the Father? With Christ? That relationship needs communication as well.

If we do not communicate on a daily basis our relationship can fade. It can be dulled and we start to lose a part of it. We don't always hear from Him as we should because we aren't in communication daily.

I'm talking to myself here too. I know life happens. Things get busy and a lot of times friendships can get tossed around. We find ourselves spending less time in the Word and less time communicating than before. That can leave us and our relationship weak.

It just hit me that if we want the strong relationship with Christ that we call for. The relationship where He is our all in all and He is our daily strength, we have to communicate with Him on a daily basis.

How can we expect to be strong in the Word and strong in our relationship if there's no communication? If you only see a friend once a week, do you really know them? Do you really have a strong bond with them? Do you really understand you can depend on them in good times and bad?

How do we build those relationships we have that have made a difference in our lives? Look back at your best friends. Whether they are now or in the past. How did your new acquaintance become your best friend? You talked to them. You learned about them. You spent time with them. That's what He wants from us.

He wants us to talk to Him. To spend time in prayer and reading the Word. But to also listen to Him. He wants to reveal things to us and help us through this thing called life. He wants to share with us. To give us strength and peace. To help us face things that are coming down the path. To give us wisdom .

Don't forget to take time to talk to Him today. To learn more about Him by reading the Word. To listen to what He has to say today. Then start doing that a little bit everyday. You'll be amazed at what happens.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

VeggieTales Supercomics! Review and Giveaway!

The VeggieTales have been a huge hit with me since I was a college student and discovered these awesome characters. I couldn't wait till I had a family so I could share them with my children. He is just as much in love with them as I am!

We recently got the opportunity to check out a new product from the VeggieTales company, Big Idea, through Family Christian. They have put your favorite characters and stories into comic books! Supercomics to be exact!!


These new released by Big Idea are amazing! Why? Well they bring your favorite stories to life in a new form. These graphic novels bring three stories in each comic book to your children so they can have another way to  learn the lessons God teaches us.

Now I have never been a huge fan of comic books but my son is. He discovered graphic novels not too long ago and fell in love with them. As we have struggled with getting him to read in the past, any way I see him wanting to read, I take it. That's another reason I love these new products.

The Volume 1 comic book offers some of the original stories including Dave and the Giant Pickle, Lyle and the Kindly Viking and Larry-Boy and the Prideosaurus.

This particular book focuses on the lessons of self-esteem and sharing among others.

The Volume 2 Book covers three more stories. These include League of Incredible Vegetables ( one of our favorites), Larry Boy and the Reckless Ruckus and Josh and the Big Wall (another of our favorites).

The lessons in that book focus on items like fear, obedience and knowing how to say you're sorry. I can tell you from experience that the League of Incredible Vegetables came at a time when my son was dealing with extreme fear and sleeping problems. That was such a God send, literally, as it helped him , and me, to deal with those emotions.


These books are beautifully done with bright colors and they draw you in. These are familiar stories to any of you who have been with VeggieTales before but they are presented in a new way. 

You can find both of these comics online or in the bookstores at Family Christian locations. They are $12.99 a piece and are a great addition to any Veggie loving home. These would make great gifts for those children in your life who love comics and who enjoy Veggies.

One thing you might notice is the characters have gotten a little bit of a facelift. They have been updated and while it took us a little bit to get used to them, they are still the same old crazy Larry and Bob you've fallen in love with.

So now, guess what?!?!?! I get to give away a copy of each of these Comics to one of my lucky readers! Be sure to enter the giveaway below and share it with your friends!!!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Week in Review : The Last Science Class...

Howdy! We made it through another week this week! Things are moving right along here and it's been a pretty decent week. Today we'll be ending the week with a field trip so that's always good.

This week...
We started a Latin program for review this week and boy is it shooting off like a rocket! Boo Bear is really loving it and I am as well. I took two years of Spanish in high school and can pick words out here and there. I think it's really important to have a second language and I'm glad we can pick and choose  which ones. This one is a lot of fun and we can't wait to share it with you!


We had our last science class yesterday until September. Sigh.. I have a very sad kiddo. They take the summer off to do summer camps so we might try to do one of those. We will have to see. He typically does a summer theater program for a week and it's a long drive from our home. This science center is about the same drive, a little shorter, so not sure I want to do that for two weeks. :).

We started the skeletal system this week in anatomy. We were working on our bone puzzle we received at Christmas but it looks like a few bones are missing. If we find them I'll be sure to share it with you.

We are moving along well in our other subjects. We are working on math and I have him doing his curriculum stuff and a multiplication workbook. He's loving the workbook right now. I'm trying to make sure he has those multiplication facts down as in the next few weeks he'll be moving on to division. We are also playing a game called multiplication war and he really enjoyed that as well.

We got to do a really cool day at the library this week as well. We are working on a unit study called about birds. This week a Falconer was at the library with his Eagle Owl. Boy was that a beautiful bird!

Boo Bear loves animals of all types and can spout of facts that honestly make your head spin at times. He was really in his element with this presentation and has even thought of doing it when he's grown. I think it's awesome and could so totally see him doing that.

Fun times...
We have fun no matter what we're doing right? Well, most times anyway :) . We had a nice family picnic this past weekend and got to see some beautiful horses. It's definitely getting to our summer weather with storms in the afternoons and hot, humid, gross weather. Tis' summer in the South right? :)

 We had an awesome time even with the weather spending time with family. Oh and by the way... How cute is his hair? :) He only lets me spike it up for him every once in a while. I think it's adorable this way but he's set on it being down towards his face most days.

Today's a field trip and visits with friends this weekend. It's been too long since we got to hang out with them and they live near us. It's sad how busy life gets sometimes. I love when it slows down and we can just be together :).

So what did your week look like? How are things progressing in your homeschool/life? Thanks for stopping by and remember to check out other weeks at the following blogs:

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers , Homegrown Learners , Life at Rossmont and Our 4 Kiddos

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Whey Protein Review

I have tried a couple different whey proteins in my past and I've had mixed feelings about them. I recently got an opportunity to review the Summit Nutritions 100% Whey without any spiked amino acids or proteins. (Basically that means without the junk others may add)

Order on Amazon

I received three small travel packets of the Dutch chocolate flavor. It has a very nice smell from the minute you open the package. I noticed it did not clump up like others have done on me and the flavor was very nice. 

It has no sugar in it and is very easy going down. You can mix it with any of your favorite liquids you like to use your protein powders with. 

Here's a little info you may want when you're looking for a protein powder :
  • Low carb
  • 100% Pure Bio Protein
  • Zero fat or fillers
  • Two flavors
  • Kosher
  • Non-GMO
I really like the fact that it's not filled with junk making you think it's healthy till you read the fine print. This one is really a great protein powder to check out. You can keep the big container at home and the little packs are great to throw in your purse or gym bag on the go. The 3 pack single serve is $7.99. This is a great way to also try both flavors to decide which is your favorite before you buy a huge jar of the protein.


I would recommend you giving it a try if you're looking for a nice chocolate protein powder. You can also check out Amazon for other reviews and see what others thought of the different flavors.